25th October 2020
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SPLM pledge to appoint more women in remaining positions

Author: Jale Richard | Published: Tuesday, October 13, 2020

File: Jemma Nunu [Red dress] and a female colleague [Blue jacket] among predominantly male cadres during the SPLM Retreat in Lobonok, December 2018. |Credit//Ayuel L. Kon Leek/Facebook

The acting Secretary-General of the SPLM party says the number of women in government will be increased in the next appointments.

This is after a group of activists last week petitioned the Supreme Court over what they call a “violation” of women’s constitutional rights by the ruling SPLM party.

They challenged President Salva Kiir’s appointment of ‘men only’ into the 6-state governorship and three administrative positions. These are positions allocated to the SPLM.

“This is in violation of the constitution that requires the government to reflect women’s participation at all levels of government,” asserted counsel Samuel Mading who submitted the petition on behalf of the activists in Juba.

The agreement grants a 35 percent gender representation for women at all levels of government.

The SPLM’s guiding principles and documents have also been vocal about the affirmative action for women.

The activists want the appointments nullified, and more women be appointed as governors and Chief Administrators.

There are 10 states and 3 Administrative Areas across the country.

Only one state – Western Bahr el Ghazal – is being governed by a woman following the appointment by Dr. Riek Machar’s party, SPLM-IO. The main opposition group has been allocated two positions for governors.

The acting SPLM party Secretary-General, Jemma Nunu Kumba promised that more women will be appointed into the remaining positions allotted to the party.

“Women came up clearly and put up their proposals as to how they would like to see themselves participating within the remaining appointments,” She stated during a virtual debate in Juba on Monday.

The parties are yet to appoint members of national and state parliaments, Council of States, Deputy Governors, County Commissioners, and head of commissions, among others.

“So for us as a party, we are going to make sure that this 35 percent is implemented within the remaining positions,” Nunu announced.

The SPLM senior official, however, acknowledged that it has always been a tendency to appoint men into crucial positions in South Sudan.

“Most of these parties are headed by men, and that’s one of the challenges we are facing,” she stated, “The chairperson, the secretary generals are all men [and] when opportunities come for nominations, automatically the men nominate themselves.”

Nunu encouraged women to assert their claims within their political parties.

“We need to remain vigilant as women within their respective political parties to raise their voices to ensure that this does not happen.”

The SPLM strong-woman promised to ensure that women are appointed into speakership roles at various parliaments whereby “at least we should have maybe two [speakers] from our quarter.”

Jemma Nunu was speaking yesterday in Juba an online discussion organized by the UN Women and South Sudanese Women Intellectuals Forum on the 35 percent Affirmative Action in South Sudan.

A prominent women’s rights advocate, Justice Ajonye Perpetua recently told Eye Radio that women needs to be brought “on board in the leadership of governors at the state level because women will be instruments for the peace process…they are peacemakers.”

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